First Command News & Events
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 30, 2014
First Command Joins Philanthropic Leaders to Pledge Millions to Support Veterans and Military Families
First Command, Philanthropic and Nonprofit Leaders Come Together with the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative to launch the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge
WASHINGTON, DC — First Command Financial Services, Inc. is joining over 30 philanthropic organizations and corporations in a new initiative to support veterans and military families with pledges totaling more than $170 million over the next five years.
The Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge was announced today by Joining Forces and a coalition of leading foundations at an event hosted by the American Red Cross, Council on Foundations, and the White Oak Summit Steering Committee. The Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge - initiated by Blue Shield of California Foundation, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the Lincoln Community Foundation, and the McCormick Foundation - creates a community of funders and builds momentum for programs that will support servicemembers, veterans and their families, in local communities as the country draws down from 12 years of war.
The Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge commitments come at a vital time as the country adjusts to a post-war period. Our servicemembers, veterans, and their families are true assets to our country, communities, and economy. Our country benefits from their dedication, skills, and experience. The philanthropic and nonprofit communities believe that supporting servicemembers' successful transition back to civilian life sustains their good work and shows our appreciation for their sacrifices. Each organization’s commitment will be designated over five years to their selected causes.
First Command is pledging $3.6 million through Squared Away®, the company’s ongoing commitment to extend awareness of and take action to address the critical life issues facing active-duty military, post-911 veterans and military spouses. Squared Away is designed to assist past and present servicemembers and their families reeling from a decade of war, defense downsizings and economic turmoil through an unprecedented commitment of First Command’s time, personnel and financial resources. Major recipients of the $3.6 million in pledges will include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative, Project Sanctuary and the First Command Educational Foundation.
“Today, First Command is proud to add our gifts and our voice to this important initiative to support America’s men and women in uniform through the career transitions, physical and emotional struggles and financial challenges they face as a direct result of their service to our country,” said Scott Spiker, CEO of First Command. “Our pledge of $3.6 million is yet another demonstration of First Command’s continuing commitment to give something back to our heroes and their family members by supporting them through this uncertain time and helping them to get all aspects of their lives squared away. The issues confronting our military families are tightly connected to one another. It is important that we all understand how profoundly they affect the lives of those who serve, especially in times as challenging as these. By supporting active duty military members, veterans, and their spouses with the programs and resources critical to putting their professional, personal and financial lives in order, we hope to give them the peace of mind they’ve earned and the feelings of security they deserve. And by committing to the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge, we hope to encourage others in industry to support the employment, education and morale of America’s military families.”
Today’s event featured remarks from First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, General George Casey (ret.), former Chief of Staff of the Army, US Teen Poet Laureate and military child Michaela Coplen, and representatives from the American Red Cross, Council on Foundations, Blue Shield of California Foundation, San Diego Grantmakers, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Points of Light, Bank of America, and Blue Star Families. First Command was represented at the event by the company’s Northeast Division Director of Advisor Operations Mark Diunizio and Chief Marketing Officer Dennis Holland.
The pledges are the result of the leadership of the pledge initiators (Blue Shield of California Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Lincoln Community Foundation, and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation) the Council on Foundations Veteran’s Advisory Groupmembers, and participants from the annual White Oak Conference hosted by Blue Star Families, which brings together the public and private sector to foster and create partnerships to address the ever-changing challenges of military family life.
Nonprofits participating in today’s event were members of the White Oak Steering Committee, including leaders from American Red Cross, Armed Forces Services Corporation, Blue Star Families, Hiring Our Heroes of the Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Military Child Education Coalition, Military Officers Association of America, Points of Light Institute, and the USO.
About the Council on Foundations
The Council on Foundations (www.cof.org), formed in 1949, is a nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. Members of the Council include more than 1,500 independent, operating, community, public and company-sponsored foundations, and corporate giving programs in the United States and abroad. The Council’s mission is to provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
About First Command
First Command Financial Services and its subsidiaries, including First Command Bank and First Command Financial Planning, assist American families in their efforts to build wealth, reduce debt and pursue their lifetime financial goals and dreams—focusing on consumer behavior as the first and most powerful determinant of results. Through knowledgeable advice and coaching of the financial behaviors conducive to success, First Command Financial Advisors have built trustworthy, lasting relationships with hundreds of thousands of client families since 1958.